The pilgrimage , Hajj,
occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah,
the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.
"Hajj" means literally
"to set out for a place". For a Muslim, that
place is the Holy City of Makkah.
Dhu al-Hijjah is the twelfth
and final month in the Islamic calendar.
This is a very sacred
month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year.
It is in this month in which the Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place.
"Dhu al-Hijjah" literally
means "Possessor of the Pilgrimage." It is during
this month that pilgrims from all around the world congregate
at Mecca to visit the Kaaba.
The Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and the tenth of
Day of Arafa takes place on the ninth of the
month (9 Dhu al-Hijjah )
Eid al-Adha, the "Festival
of the Sacrifice", begins on the tenth day
and ends on
the thirteenth (10 - 13 Dhu al-Hijjah)
Masjid al Haram
Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people,
who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the
week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals:
Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around
the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building which acts
as the Muslim direction of prayer.
The Hajj is the pilgrimage
to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest pilgrimage
in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious
duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime
by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The
Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim
people, and their submission to God (Allah in the
Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven
days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western
world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year
During the Hajj, male pilgrims
are required to dress only in the ihram,
a garment consisting of two sheets of white unhemmed
cloth, with the top draped over the torso and the bottom
secured by a white sash; plus a pair of sandals. Women
are simply required to maintain their hijab - normal
modest dress, which does not cover the hands or face.
The Ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims
, in front of God: there is no difference between a
prince and a pauper. Ihram is also symbolic for holy
virtue and pardon from all past sins. A place designated
for changing into Ihram is called a miqat .
While wearing the Ihram, a pilgrim may not shave, clip
their nails, wear perfume, swear or quarrel, have sexual
relations, uproot or damage plants, cover the head [for
men] or the face and hands [for women], marry, wear
shoes over the ankles, perform any dishonest acts or